New and Old Guards
Published July 7, 2011
PHOTO COURTESY OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
Yiqing Yin spread her design wings in a debut couture show this morning. Last week, the 26-year-old French-Australian of Chinese origin won ANDAM’s First Collection Prize, a new grant from France’s National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts to help young designers stage their debut shows in Paris. Yin’s mille-feuille pleats and sexy play of transparence showed in mysterious darks and flesh tones. She also worked mixed furs into intricate patchworks for minidresses, some embellished with beading, and wove gray and white satin ribbons into one amazing basketweave hourglass sheath. The sleek grey bottines in this show displayed the talents of Alain Quilici, a young Tuscan shoe designer, currently based in London, who, like Yin, is just beginning to make his mark.
Jean Paul Gaultier took the film Black Swan and applied it to his menswear tailoring for women by filling out the hips of his opening double-breasted jacket with tutu ruffles. This show celebrated the designer’s classics from the trench coat, which he offered in liquid jersey, or as a ball gown, to a breathtaking Norwegian patterned sweater in feathers. Gaultier, whose brand spans 35 years, is currently the subject of a retrospective at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which will run through October 2nd before touring San Francisco, Madrid, and the Netherlands. JPG filled the show with man couture, which had an androgynous, Nureyev quality punctuated by the designer’s favorite male model Tanel dressed in a full-length black-to-white ostrich-feather skirt with satin cummerbund. Towards the end of the show, Gaultier brought out a spangled biker jacket minidress with a ballerina feathered petticoat; it was the perfect mix of ballet and street tough.
QUENTIN VÉRON, LOOK 10. PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNY LEXANDER
Young French furrier Quentin Véron shows just once a year, and the collection he unveiled in the Medieval vaulted ceiling cellar of the Hotel de Beauvais was the promise of an excellent and creative future in fur. How Véron managed to secure the hotel as a site for his show is a mystery. The eclectic French baroque hotel particulier (townhouse) in Paris’s Marais is by 17th-century royal architect Antoine de Pautre for Catherine Beauvais, the first lady to Anne of Austria, rumored to have provided Louis XIV with his first heterosexual experience. Visited by King Louis XIV in 1660 and visited by young Wolfgang Amadeus at the age of 7, when he traveled to Paris with his family in 1763, it now houses a city agency and is inaccessible to the public. Véron madly patchworks fur for cropped capes, chubby jackets, and savage animal-tailed scarves. Referencing the Middle Ages, he placed fur on a latticework of leather for jackets that looked unusually light and contemporary.